Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day Food

I see from comments that people are curious as to food over the holiday weekend. All right already! Here is the scoop. On Friday two dear friends came to dine early so we could eat and play games and just have fun. I'll call them the MeMa's as we have two other friends we call the M & M's. The MeMa's are two ladies I have known since my children were young. Like many dear friends we can talk about anything and do and laugh until we just almost faint. Somehow we are always so funny and clever. Could it be the wine? So the MeMa meal went as follows: Greet guest with wild barking and cavorting - the three dogs not us! Walk Lee's beautiful back yard and stand in amazement at her gardening. Back to the patio for appetizers of hummus and olive tapenade with mint and organe on pita crisps. We had riesling and chardonnay. I grilled Mediterranean shrimp and tomato skewers and steak with peppers and onions in a balsamic marinade. I used my grandpa's skewers so I thought about him and happy family times as I threaded the meat and shrimp. I made grilled smashed potatoes, and a salad with lettuce and broccoli from our garden with a homemade lemon vinaigrette and salt focaccia rolls. This was fine except Lee and Ma left me and Me to go on a propane run. We had a lovely chat and they returned and grilling commenced. For dessert I had made strawberry ice cream with a strawberries romanov topping - strawberries macerated in orange, sugar and triple sec. The macerating liquid was reduced to a syrup and then spooned over the ice cream. We played one game and the MeMa's went home with a promise of future engagements. Woo Hoo!

For the Fourth of July we were very traditional. It was raining so I grilled hot dogs inside. We had corn on the cob and the broccoli/lettuce salad from Friday. I dress salad individually so you can make a large salad and have it for several meals. For dessert I made some very awesome brownies that were long on chocolate and short on flour so they were cakey/fudgey. Not quite a confection rather than a cookie. I always add coffee to deepen the flavor and complexity of the chocolate. I guess Emeril would say Bam! but for me it's about the stealth ingredient that makes it complex and rich. Just a lingering flavor you can't quite name.

Thank God it's a three day weekend! Day three launches another meal on the grill. Sticky balsamic ribs with balsamic glaze, zucchini pancakes and broccoli. Lee is just obsessed that the broccoli will "ruin". So I have promised to make yet another broccoli dish. Broccoli three days running. Ay yi yi. It's really a plot to keep George Bush, Sr. from dropping in by parachute. For dessert I might try a peach caramel tart.

So yes I have been my typical self cooking and sharing time with some of those I call friends and thinking of my family. I've been channeling my Dad trying to become a person of his grilling stature. I try to emulate him in other fine attributes as well but this weekend I focused on grilling. Cooking for the MeMa's and Lee is always rewarding. They are so appreciative (as are most of my people I choose to cook for) that it's a sincere pleasure to cook for them.

Happy Holiday y'all! It's not over yet.

Grilled Smashed Potatoes (Before you ask why would she give us this after all of those other things...keep your mouth shut until you make them and taste them. Then I rest my case.)

I will not tell you how many to make. Just estimate the number of potatoes your group can eat.

Boil small red potatoes in salted water until just tender. Let cool about 10 minutes then smash lightly with the heel of your right hand (just plain' I'm right handed) The goal is to compress the potatoes to the point the sides crack and expose some of the tender flesh. Do not destroy the potatoes they are your friend. Four potatoes to serve 4 people I place 1/4 C. olive oil in a boil with 2-3 large cloves of garlic grated or made into a paste. Add 1/2 tsp salt and blend well. Add the potatoes and toss very gently to coat with the oil.

On a hot grill, grill the potatoes until they are hot and the skin is brown. Salt with kosher salt and serve.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for including a recipe. the lack of your routine makes me nervous.

    the 'keep your mouth shut' let's watch the hostility. it sets a nagative tone to a positive blog.

    smashingly yours,